Australian conductor Sarah Penicka-Smith has been selected for this year’s Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera. Penicka-Smith is one of six professionals chosen for the elite residency, a program designed to further the careers of distinctively talented female conductors, from a total of 51 women conductors and professional musicians from 19 countries.

Penicka-Smith is also the fourth Australian selected for the program, which is now in its fourth year, with Carolyn Watson chosen last year (she was an observer the year before) and Jessica Gethin and Jennifer Condon taking part in the inaugural program in 2015. The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Assistant Conductor, New Zealander Tianyi Lu took part in the program in 2016.

Sarah Penicka-Smith, Dallas OperaSarah Penicka-Smith. Photo © Penny Ryan

“Frankly, it’s a huge privilege to be going to Dallas,” Penicka-Smith told Limelight. “This is the first time I’ve applied for an international program so I wasn’t really expecting that 4am phone call! The achievements of both the previous and current participants are remarkable. I’m grateful to be included, and especially so that the panel clearly took the time to watch all the...